Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What I Learned by Hosting an Open Studio

What I learned by opening my studio to the public:

I need people. That’s nothing new but it is an awakening to my need to craft more ways to share my work. We artists need isolation in which to create. But we also need opportunities to talk with interested people. An open studio accomplishes that. I sure enjoyed this party!

Being open six hours for two days isn’t terribly taxing. The hardest part was preparing and thanks to friends that wasn’t so bad either. I will do this again.

It would be better to be open two weekends to better accommodate people’s schedules. Early fall is a good time to do this.

It was a good idea to publicize the event on Facebook and my blog as well as an email blast. Next time I'll mail invitations, too.

People have good taste. They bought my best work and passed on some works that I shouldn’t have even offered for sale. Limit what I show.

I thought that framed pieces would sell better than works that weren’t framed. That didn’t happen, perhaps because unframed work is less expensive even though I charged only what the frames cost me to buy and assemble.

There was great variety in the work I displayed, perhaps too much. I think I’ll narrow my focus.

Work larger. I’ve been doing small works because of storage issues but if I grab more opportunities to show work larger pieces will be an advantage.

Several professional artists who were here convinced me that my work is worthy and that I should seek gallery representation and enter shows.  I will do just that.

People like to see something to hang their hat on. Purely abstract work didn’t interest buyers for the most part, but the abstraction of reality was appealing. They like flowers and trees and horses. My map series were quite a draw because people are used to reading maps to navigate so they moved in close and ‘read’ my paintings.  They try to read words. They are highly interested in the stories that are reflected in the paintings and loved to hear me talk about the back-story of each work. Since my work tends to be narrative and personal it’s easy to talk about it.

Gosh, I loved doing this open studio. Thanks a bunch to you who attended and I hope that more of you will come visit me someday.

People were interested in seeing me demonstrate some of my collage techniques.

I am planning to start teaching again, probably something to do with collage. I can handle up to 5 students in my studio and if there’s a larger enrollment I’ll rent space.  Let me know if you want to be added to my student list. There’s no commitment either way. When I decide to teach I’ll send an announcement and you can sign up if it suits you.


  1. Hi, Jo, I really admire your work. I am a mixed media artist in Port Townsend, WA and would love to be added to your list of upcoming classes. Thanks.

    1. I'd add your name if I knew who you are. I need an email addy.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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